Friday, September 16, 2011

Stalemate your way to prosperity

Ingrid Robeyns at the Crooked Timber blog posts her latest piece on the political situation in Belgium. It's been fifteen months since the last election, and the country's political parties still haven't managed to form a regular government. The most fascinating aspect to the situation comes up in the comments, where it turns out that Belgium has the healthiest economy in the Eurozone.

The reason? Due to the political stalemate, nobody in Belgium has the authority to institute the austerity programs that are all the rage in the rest of the industrialized nations (including ours). Government spending in Belgium hasn't been slashed in the name of "fiscal responsibility", and as a result, the economy there is growing more than twice as fast as our own.

The lesson? Conservative government is worse than no government at all. We already knew that, but it's nice to have concrete proof.

No comments: